People lap up new package

Five-night, four-day rail tour to Goa to cost Rs 6,510 per person

ALl set: Tourists headed for a ride on a motor boat on a Goa beach. dh photo

The five-night, four-day ‘Holiday Package’ is planned as a bi-monthly venture. The overwhelming tourist response to this sector can be gauged by the fact that the entire chartered coach (64 berths) earmarked for the package on the Chennai-Yeshwantpur-Vasco Express was fully booked by September 15 itself.

Terming this as a ‘People’s Package’, Chief Regional Manager of IRCTC, South Western Railway Division, S Gagarin said: “The introduction of this package is due to the overwhelming demand for it from tourists through mails, feedback forms and the commentaries posted on blogs.”

Entertainment and spiritual fare are offered with visits to famed beaches, temples and churches. The package works out to Rs 6,510 per person. This includes air-conditioned 3-tier train reservation, three-star hotel accommodation, local sight-seeing tours in a/c buses and smooth boat cruises. Two dinners, lunches and breakfasts are provided as a part of the package. Pick-and-drop facility from the doorstep entails extra cost.

Similar packages to Goa
IRCTC is already operating two weekly packages to Goa departing every Friday: a Standard Package that costs Rs 4,510 per person and a Deluxe package that costs Rs 6,800 per person.

“Both these packages put together can take only 12 tourists. It is not possible to meet public demand during the holiday seasons with these packages, and hence the need for a new package which can take a big group,” Gagarin said. All the three packages will now be operated simultaneously. A ‘temple package’ encompassing Madurai, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari is in the offing, he added.
The next ‘Holiday Package’ tour to Goa will depart on October 27. For bookings call: 9741435809/9731647952 or 9731647954.

* Departure: From Yeshwantpur at 9.30 p.m.
* Day one: Arrival at Vasco railway station at 12.45 p.m. Bus trip to a three-star hotel in North Goa, which has
gym and swimming pool facilities. Indoor recreational activities organised by event managers.
* Day two: Tour of North Goa. The Portuguese fort Aguada, the beaches Sequreim, Anjuna, Vagator and the Queen of beaches Calangute will be covered. Boat cruise with live entertainment on board will take place on Mandovi river.
* Day three: Checking out from hotel. Visit to the picturesque spot of Dona Paula, the Zuari river and Marmagoa harbour will be viewed from here. Visit to South Goa by
afternoon. Stopover at Golden Beach, the Basilica of Jesus which houses the embalmed body of St Francis Xavier. Visit to Shiva temple at Mangueeshi and Shanta Durga temple. Stopover at the famed ‘Spice Farm’, where typical Goan food will be served in earthern pots and banana leaves. Departure to railway station to board train at 8.45 p.m. Vasco-Yeshwantpur-Chennai Express.
* Arrival: At Yeshwantpur station at 11 am.

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